Jessie Buckley arrived in Toronto last year as an unknown, in the British indie thriller Beast, but she leaves this year as a star in the making, after knocking audiences for six in the feel-good musical Wild Rose, in which she plays Glaswegian country singer Rose-Lynn Harlan. To discuss the film, the actress came by the Deadline studio with director Tom Harper, screenwriter Nicole Taylor and actress Mary Steenburgen, who wrote the film’s key song.
Taylor set the ball rolling by revealing that the inspiration for the film came to her a long time ago, and finally came about after a meeting with Harper, who knew Buckley from his BBC adaptation of War & Peace. “I’ve had this character of Rose-Lynn Harlan knocking around in my head for years,” she said. “I can’t imagine life before I had this character chatting away inside my head, but, really, the whole thing just burst into life when Tom arrived with Jessie Buckley in his head, and it all just started to go from there.”
Although Buckley hails from Ireland, she proved a natural fit for the part. “Rose-Lynn is a lass from Glasgow,” she said, “and you meet her at the [start] of the film just as she’s coming out of prison for chucking heroin over the [prison] fence in order to fund her dream and her passion, which is to go to Nashville and become a country music singer. But alongside that passion, she also has two kids, she’s a mother, and she’s in the dilemma of wanting to go on a journey but also being limited by her life in Glasgow. She goes on a journey of identity, I suppose.”
Added Taylor, “I’m from Glasgow [myself], and I can relate to the central conceit of a girl who wants get the hell out of Glasgow and make it to Nashville, because I’m a huge country fan myself. Really, it’s just a story that’s a love letter to Glasgow, and it’s a love letter to my mom, and I hope it will appeal to anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t belong where they came from.”
Hear more from the Wild Rose team by clicking on the video above.